NASA Latest News Release: The Cassini Spacecraft Began Its Mission Of Ring-Grazing Orbits

First Posted: Dec 09, 2016 03:50 AM EST

According to NASA latest news, the images of Saturn's hexagon-shaped storm were captured by the wide angle camera of the Cassini spacecraft. The Cassini spacecraft recently started its mission phase and entered into the ring-grazing orbit phase after 20 years of being launched in space.

The Cassini spacecraft was launched in 1997, and it started studying various aspects of Saturn and its moons in 2004. The Cassini mission is a joint venture of NASA, ESA and the Italian Space Agency.

According to the NASA latest news report published in Detroit Free Press, Cassini Spacecraft made a close pass over the outer edges of Saturn's rings and captured remarkable images of a storm with hexagon-shaped jet stream in the northern hemisphere of Saturn.

According to NASA, each side of the hexagon is as wide as Earth. Eric Berger, meteorologist at ARS Technica, said that the hexagon is a current of air with wind speed of about 200 mph.

The Cassini team is highly excited and is all set to study and analyze the data sent by Cassini spacecraft, before it enters into the Saturn's atmosphere and burns up, which is scheduled on Sep. 15, 2017. Linda Spilker, Cassini Project Specialist, Jet Propulsion laboratory, NASA, said that "It's taken years of planning, but now we're finally here." She also added that "The whole Cassini team is excited to begin studying the data that come from these ring grazing orbits."

The Cassini Spacecraft is sending different images of the surface of Saturn and its moons. The photo taken on Dec. 4, 2016 shows Tethys, which is the fifth largest moon of Saturn. In addition, Cassini spacecraft will also help in the study of the particle and gaseous composition of the atmospheric conditions near the Saturn's rings, reports The Verge.

Experts speculate that the Cassini mission will be highly instrumental in generating new information on the solar system and its planets and will help in the furtherance of research and exploration of other planets and their satellites.

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